Now Stream This Punch-Drunkl

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

Independence Day just ended, which for many of us means it’s time to trudge back to work, our sunburns peeling, our clothes still stinking of BBQ (gross, throw your clothes in the washer, weirdo). What better way to cure the post-July 4th blues than by kicking back and streaming some movies? In this edition of Now Stream This, we have a silent Hitchcock classic, a chilling ghost story, a hilarious mockumentary about dog shows, James Caan getting his ankles smashed by a sledgehammer, and the best performance of Adam Sandler’s career. Let’s get streaming.

1. Punch-Drunk Love

Now Streaming on Netflix

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best filmmakers working today, directing one modern classic after another. While most would look to There Will Be Blood as Anderson’s masterpiece, the case could also be made for his dreamy 2002 Punch-Drunk Love. Like a musical where the songs never start, Anderson’s film channels Jacques Demy while also managing to help Adam Sandler deliver the best performance of his spotty career. Sandler is an emotionally unstable plunger salesman who plunges head-first into a relationship with the equally unbalanced Lena (Emily Watson). The result is sweet, romantic and even a little scary. Also featuring a scene-stealing performance from the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.

For fans of: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, A Woman is a Woman, Magnolia, pudding.

2. The Others

Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Alejandro Amenábar’s chilling The Others had the misfortune of hitting theaters after The Sixth Sense, which resulted in the film being labeled by many as just another Sixth Sense knock-off. But save for a twist ending, this slow-burn ghost story is far removed from M. Night Shyamalan’s breakout hit. Nicole Kidman is at her icy best as a wealthy woman who hires on a trio of housekeepers to help with the raising of her two children. The children suffer from a rare disease that makes them ultra-sensitive to light, resulting in a lot of drawn curtains and dark, creepy rooms. As the film unfolds, Kidman and her children become more and more convinced their gothic home is haunted, and that the new housekeepers know more than they’re letting on. Subtle and spooky, The Others is one of the best ghost films of the 21st century.

For fans of: The Innocents, The Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes, Nicole Kidman frequently gasping.

3. Married to the Mob

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Cinema suffered a great loss when Jonathan Demme died in April, but at least audiences can cherish the films he made while he still inhabited this big, confusing planet. Take for instance his hilarious 1988 comedy Married to the Mob, starring Michelle Pfeiffer as a mafia widow being wooed by an undercover FBI Agent (Matthew Modine). Offbeat and full of madcap energy, Married to the Mob is another reminder of what an incredible filmmaker Demme was, and how unfortunate it is we’ll never get to see something new from him.

For fans of: Something Wild, My Blue Heaven, My Cousin Vinny, shoulder pads.

4. The Lodger

Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Alfred Hitchcock’s third feature film was this 1927 silent thriller inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders. There’s a serial killer on the loose preying on young blonde women, and the residents of a London boarding house begin to suspect that the newest tenant might have blood on his hands. The Lodger may have been released before Hitchcock had fully established himself as the “Master of Suspense”, but the film is an early revelation of his talent as well as hinting at his near-fetishistic obsessions. Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto said The Lodger marked “the first time Hitchcock…revealed his psychological attraction to the association between sex and murder, between ecstasy and death.”

For fans of: Shadow of a Doubt, The Lady Vanishes, M, London fog (the actual fog, not the company that makes trench coats). 

5. The Sweet Hereafter

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Atom Egoyan’s devastating drama focuses on the aftermath of a horrific, fatal school bus crash in a small Canadian town. Ian Holm plays a morally ambiguous lawyer who comes to town with hopes of lawsuit gold, only to buck up against the various townsfolk and their various secrets. With wintry scenery that burns itself on your retinas and a heartbreaking score from Mychael Danna, The Sweet Hereafter is an unforgettable film about survival, guilt, and grief.

For fans of: The Ice Storm, Affliction, Exotica, gorgeous movies that make you feel terrible.

Continue Reading The Best Movies Streaming in July 2017 >>

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